The Campaign Spot

Barack Obama, Presidential Army of One?

The first Morning Jolt of the week offers thoughts on the career paths of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, whether Perry’s attacks on Romney will really help him, and . . .

Er . . . Does the President Need Prozac?

Over at the New York Post, columnist Michael Goodwin gives us our chill for the day: “The reports are not good, disturbing even. I have heard basically the same story four times in the last 10 days, and the people doing the talking are in New York and Washington and are spread across the political spectrum. The gist is this: President Obama has become a lone wolf, a stranger to his own government. He talks mostly, and sometimes only, to friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett and to David Axelrod, his political strategist. Everybody else, including members of his Cabinet, have little face time with him except for brief meetings that serve as photo ops. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner both have complained, according to people who have talked to them, that they are shut out of important decisions.”

Is this what Oprah Winfrey meant when she said he was “The One”? As in, he’s all alone up there?

At Pajamas Media, Richard Fernandez wonders if we’re unknowingly watching Obama’s . . . well, “downfall”: “If politics is a rogue’s game, success in it also requires a rogue’s charm, which principally consists of the usual low-life glad-handing but most of all a sure touch in the division of the spoils. A gang chieftain must always remember that he lives by the gang . . . Maybe the President is retreating into light reading or watching entertainment the better to forget. That would be human and natural. The worst interpretation of Obama’s behavior is that he’s now in a mental bunker, still planning his victories, still convinced of his destiny, in an atmosphere masterfully portrayed in the movie Downfall. In that movie, a terminally defeated Hitler maneuvers imaginary armies against the advancing Red Army tide and no one has the nerve to tell him that the units on the map no longer exist.”

The Neo-Neocon doubts we’re watching a presidential crack-up . . . exactly: “A number of people on this blog have speculated, beginning quite some time ago, that Obama might end up having some sort of breakdown. I don’t think that’s what happening, although of course it can’t be ruled out. I think his psyche is a lot more well-defended than that. But when there’s stress — and Obama is undoubtedly undergoing stress, and possible threats to his long-held assumptions about himself and his own competence — people tend to fall back on the defense mechanisms they know. If these articles are true, Obama’s method appears to be to pull back from feedback, especially of the negative variety; keep his own counsel; and blame others for what’s gone wrong.”


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